EDUCATION / Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to progress your career and continue to earn and develop.

There are already lots of apprenticeship opportunities in health and social care and more are becoming available.

They allow you to combine work and study by mixing on-the-job training with classroom learning. You will be employed to do a real job while studying for a formal qualification, usually for one day a week either at a college or a training centre. By the end of your apprenticeship, you will have gained the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in your chosen role and move along your career pathway, possibly onto the next apprenticeship level.

What you will learn depends on the role that you are training for.

For example, you could be an apprentice care assistant or healthcare assistant, nursing associate or registered nurse. There will be more apprenticeships for other roles in the future. Apprentices in every role follow an approved study programme, which means you’ll gain a nationally-recognised qualification at the end of your apprenticeship that you can use with any employer in the future.

As an apprentice you can expect to:

  • work alongside experienced staff
  • gain job-specific skills
  • earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • get time for study at college related to your role (usually one day a week)
  • for higher level apprenticeships your study is often integrated into your job role.

Entry requirements

You will usually need:

  • For an advance apprenticeship 5 GCSEs at grades 9 – 4 (A-C), including English and Maths
  • For an intermediate apprenticeship GCSE English and Maths at grades 9 – 4 (A-C) as a minimum

How long does an apprenticeship last?

Apprenticeships take 1 to 5 years to complete depending on their level (apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to completion of their course).

Apprenticeship levels

The different apprenticeship standards have equivalent educational levels.
NameLevelEquivalent toExample apprenticeships
Intermediate2GCSEAdult care worker
Healthcare support worker
Advanced3A levelLead adult care worker
Ambulance support worker
Dental nurse
Senior healthcare support worker
Higher4, 5Foundation degree and aboveLead practitioner in adult care
Associate ambulance practitioner
Mammography associate
Oral Health Practitioner
Leader in adult care
Assistant practitioner
Nursing associate
Rehabilitation worker
Degree6, 7Bachelor’s or master’s degreeMidwife
Occupational therapist
Operating department practitioner
Social worker
Chartered manager

You can find out more about apprenticeships at:

Social Care Apprenticeships

Social Care Apprenticeships website

Transferrable Skills

This transferable skills resource aims to support job seekers and those considering a career in health and social care. Everyone has transferable Skills, see where yours can take you in a career in health and social care!

See where yours can take you!

Download Transferable Skills PDF

Useful resources

Helpful links

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